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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

What is the significance of Cino de Mayo other than what it actually means — the 5th of May? It’s a holiday in Mexico and North America to celebrate the Mexican defeat of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. And of course any key ingredient to a celebration is the food. Check out the recipes below to create your own fiesta.CORN-FLOUR PATTIES (GORDITAS) Aaron Sanchez4 to 6 servingsMix
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What is the significance of Cino de Mayo other than what it actually means — the 5th of May? It’s a holiday in Mexico and North America to celebrate the Mexican defeat of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. And of course any key ingredient to a celebration is the food. Check out the recipes below to create your own fiesta.


4 to 6 servings

Mix flours, baking powder, and salt, and add the warm water. You may need a little more warm water to make moist, smooth dough.

Traditional gorditas-forming method: Make balls the size of a walnut, a few at a time, and keep the dough in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out. Moisten a cloth napkin or tea towel and spread out on a flat surface. Roll each ball of dough in moistened palm of your hand until smooth, lay on the damp towel, cover with a plastic bag, and press down with your hand to flatten to the size of a silver dollar. To shape the patty, flatten again with a small can or flat-bottomed glass into a perfectly smooth circle 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It should be about 1/4-inch thick. Peel the plastic bag off the top, then lay the tortilla in your hand and peel off the damp cloth. Smooth any rough edges with your fingers and the tortilla is ready to fry.

Quick gorditas-forming method: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out gorditas. Re-roll unused dough.

Heat a cast iron skillet and add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, slide the patties into the hot oil and fry until they are a light golden brown and slightly crisp on top, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels and make a slit on the side as soon as they have cooled enough to handle. Fill with refried beans, cheese and avocado, dividing evenly. These do not keep well; they must be eaten immediately.

9123629604896049060492 corn flour 2cup2 cups instant corn flour (masa harina) flour4tablespoon4 tablespoons all purpose flourbaking powder0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon baking powdersalt0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon saltwarm water1.5cup1 1/2 cups warm waterCanola oilCanola oil, for fryingrefried beans0.3333333333333333cup1/3 cup refried beanscheese2tablespoon2 tablespoons grated cotija cheese1 Mexican hass avocado, peeled, pitted and diced


4 servings

Place walnuts, cream cheese, half and half, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cilantro in a blender; puree to a thick consistency, like that of mayonnaise. Set aside for later use.

In a Dutch oven heat 6 tablespoons of oil and add the ground meat. Cook until meat looses its pink color. Then add onion, tomato, garlic canela, cumin and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower heat, cover and cook for 2 minutes, while pressing the meat with the back of a spoon to keep it crumbled. Add chopped apple, almonds, raisins and sliced olives. Stir well and set aside.

Heat half inch of olive oil in large skillet and fry chiles for about 3 minutes on each side, blistering them on both sides. Peel the chiles under cold running water and make a slit on one side. Remove the seeds and veins and stuff each with ground meat mixture.

Place the chilies on a serving platter and pour the walnut sauce over them.

9123629604903309182747walnuts1cup1 cup walnutscream cheese8ounce1 8-ounce package cream cheesehalf and half1cup1 cup half and halfcilantro0.25cup1/4 cup cilantro, choppedSalt and pepperSalt and pepperOlive oilOlive oilpork and beef0.5pound1/2 pound pork meat and 1/2 pound beef, combine and grindonion0.5cup1/2 cup onion, chopped tomatoes1cup1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes, peeledgarlic1tablespoon1 tablespoon garlic, choppedcloves0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon ground clovesground mexican canela1teaspoon1 teaspoon ground Mexican canelaground cumin0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon ground cuminwhite wine vinegar1teaspoon1 teaspoon white wine vinegarapple11 apple, unpeeled, cored and dicedslivered almonds0.25cup1/4 cup slivered almondsraisins0.25cup1/4 cup raisinsstuffed green olives0.5cup1/2 cup stuffed green olives, slicedpoblano chiles44 poblano chiles


about 2-1/2 cups

Cut lengthwise around middle of avocados; twist avocados to separate halves; remove pits by striking with a knife blade; scoop out pulp with a spoon; dice. In a medium-sized bowl, combine avocados, tomatillos, onion, cilantro, jalapeòo peppers, lime juice, salt and pepper; gently mix. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips or raw vegetables such as bell pepper strips and jicama slices.

91236296049060492avocados22 fully ripened Mexican haas avocadostomatillos 1cup1 cup diced tomatillos or plum tomatoessweet onion0.251/4 chopped sweet onioncilantro3tablespoon3 tablespoons chopped cilantro jalapeòo peppers2tablespoon2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeòo pepperslime juice2tablespoon2 tablespoons lime juicesalt0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon saltblack pepper0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2 sandwiches

Cut lengthwise around middle of avocado; twist avocado to separate halves; strike pit with a knife blade to remove; scoop out pulp with a spoon. In a small bowl, mash avocado. To assemble tortas: Spread mashed avocado on cut sides of rolls, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. On bottom halves, layer sliced chicken, lettuce, tomato, black beans and jalapeòo pepper slices. Firmly press tops of rolls on tortas.

9123629607676049060492avocado11 fully ripened Mexican avocadosandwich rolls 22 (6-inch) sandwich rolls (such as Portuguese or submarine rolls), halvedblack pepperSalt and freshly ground black pepper, to tastegrilled chicken breast8ounce8 ounces grilled chicken breast, slicedshredded iceberg 1cup1 cup shredded iceberg or romaine lettucetomato11 tomato, sliced beans0.6666666666666666cup2/3 cup mashed black beans, dividedpickled jalapeòo pepper slices0.25cup1/4 cup pickled jalapeòo pepper slices

COCONUT FLAN Aaron Sanchez

12 custards

Combine milk, coconut milk, and coconut cream. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off flame and let cool before adding the toasted coconut. Let toasted coconut infuse for 15 minutes.

Make caramel by adding the sugar and water in medium sauce pot and cooking until it darkens to amber, then whisk in the lemon juice.

Pour the caramel evenly in 4-ounce ramekins and set aside. Strain the milk mixture into a bowl. Add the eggs and yolks and whisk lightly. Fill each ramekin with this mixture, then place ramekin in roasting pan. Create a water bath by filling the roasting pan half way with hot water, and cook covered with foil in a preheated 325-degree oven for 25 minutes.

Serve with a fruit salsa.

9123629604896049027771milk1pint1 pint milkcoconut milk8ounce8 ounces coconut milkcoconut cream8ounce8 ounces coconut creamtoasted coconut1cup1 cup toasted coconutsugar1cup1 cup sugarwater0.25cup1/4 cup waterlemon juice2tablespoon2 tablespoon lemon juiceeggs66 whole eggsegg yolks33 egg yolks

MI CHILADA Aaron Sanchez

In a dry cast-iron skillet, toast the chile over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant; turn it and shake the pan so it doesn’t scorch. Put the chile in a clean coffee grinder or spice mill and grind to a powder. Spread the chile powder out on a small plate. Spread a handful of salt out on another small plate. Coat the rim of each beer glass with a little lime to moisten. Press the glass into the chile powder and then in the salt to coat the rim. Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot sauce in the glass, followed by a good squeeze of lime. Pour the beer in the glass and enjoy!

912362960490chile de arbol11 chile de arbol, stemmed and seededCoarse saltCoarse saltLimesLimesTampico hot sauceTampico hot saucebeerDos Equis beer

Recipes courtesy of Aaron Sanchez.